The Real Message of the Kermit Gosnell Story


The conservative media is having a field day with the Kermit Gosnell trial. If you read their coverage, you would think that pro-choice activists and journalists want everyone to ignore the Gosnell clinic and forget what happened there, and that saying the name "Kermit Gosnell" is some sort of winning pro-life argument. But here's what I don't understand: Why do conservatives think that pro-choice activists or journalists should be afraid of covering the Kermit Gosnell story? Do conservatives … [Read more...]

The Breaking of a Child: A Story of Near Disaster


The next day was Tuesday. Hope did not say please and so did not have breakfast, lunch, or her bottle. By late afternoon Hope had gone for forty-eight hours---two straight days---with nothing to eat or drink but a single six ounce bottle of milk. By that time she was beginning to act strangely. Her usual vivaciousness had disappeared, replaced with a sort of melancholy. She lay on the couch listlessly, uninterested in playing or even reading books.  --------------- I've hesitated from sharing t … [Read more...]

Homeschool Legislative Alert: Bill to Protect At-Risk Children in Pennsylvania


In a post earlier today I detailed HSLDA's success in killing a homeschool registration bill in Texas a decade ago as an example of how that organization operates. Reader Marian had a suggestion: You know, the senator probably killed the bill because he heard a thousand phone messages against it, and few or no messages for it. But people who would have supported it probably knew nothing about it, because it was a fairly small bill with not a lot of hoopla.All that to say, as much as I would … [Read more...]

Some Michael Pearl Quotes on Child Training


I recently found the full text of Michael Pearl's To Train Up a Child online, in case anyone is interested. I also found some compilations of quotes and basic teachings from both that book and another of the Pearls books, and the transcript for an interview between Anderson Cooper and Michael Pearl. I want to pull all of these things together for those who may be interested.First, a selection of quotes and recommendations from To Train Up a Child. The Pearls recommend whipping infants only a … [Read more...]

HSLDA and the Deregulation of Homeschooling

hard to learn

In this series examining the actions of the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), we've discussed HSLDA's efforts to minimize child abuse reporting, stonewall child abuse investigations, and keep excessive corporal punishment legal. In this post we're going to change gears and look at HSLDA's efforts against homeschool regulations, efforts that, in effect, remove compulsory education and legalize educational neglect.Let me put it like this: HSLDA is against any oversight of … [Read more...]

Trained Monkeys and Seeing-Eye Dogs

trained monkey

If parents carefully and consistently train up their children, their performance will be superior to that of a well-trained seeing-eye dog. This quote from Michael Pearl brought to mind a section in Robert Kunzman's book, Write These Laws on Your Children: Inside the World of Conservative Christian Homeschooling. In this excerpt, Kunzman, a researcher, is visiting a large homeschooling family in Tennessee who follow the Pearls child training methods. Gary, the father, demonstrates his child … [Read more...]

The Key to the Liquor Store


One response to the stories of pain and abuse being aired at Homeschoolers Anonymous is that the problem isn't homeschooling, it's fundamentalism. Or, the problem isn't homeschooling, it's abusive parents. Homeschooling has nothing to do with it, they insist. Leave homeschooling out of it, they say. But I won't do that, and there's a reason for that.The sort of unregulated homeschooling that we have today, without any form of checks and balances, allows parents with abusive tenancies to a … [Read more...]